Mr Phillips, 54, has been in his current role since 1993 and is also chairman of the Association of Chief Police Officers' crime committee.
He served with Lancashire Constabulary from 1963 to 1984 then the Greater Manchester force for the next five years, before becoming Deputy Chief Constable of Devon and Cornwall from 1989 to 1993.
Over the past two years he has been concerned with improving detection of killings. He was a key figure in Operation Enigma, a national investigation into 207 unsolved murders. He made headlines last year when he said murderers were escaping justice because detectives were too slow and cautious.
He said: "I worry that a lot of budding investigation officers are too frightened of making mistakes and too frightened of criticism. They're in danger of playing so safe they don't take the quick route to detection.
"You can conduct an investigation which is beyond reproach but never gets anywhere. You have sometimes got to be able to get in very quickly while there is still recoverable evidence."Reuse content